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Le Le makes his debut at River Wonders’ Giant Panda Forest exhibit, joining mum Jia Jia

Some "baby proofing" was needed at the main exhibit before the panda cub's debut on Thursday (Mar 10). 

Le Le makes his debut at River Wonders’ Giant Panda Forest exhibit, joining mum Jia Jia

Jia Jia and Le Le spending quality time bonding in the main exhibit - Day 202 3 March 2022. (Photo: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Singapore’s first giant panda cub is finally ready for his time in the spotlight. Le Le joined mum Jia Jia in the main exhibit at the River Wonders’ Giant Panda Forest Exhibit on Thursday (Mar 10). Prior to this, Le Le was placed at the nursery, where he made his first public appearance on Dec 30 last year

According to the media release sent by Mandai Wildlife Group, some “baby proofing” was necessary before Le Le was able to join his mum in the exhibit.

The animal care team had to remove any potential risks to ensure the curious cub’s safety. For example, the water area was drained and is now filled and padded with leaves and bark chips.

At almost seven months old, Le Le is said to enjoy exploring his space independently and spending time with mum Jia Jia throughout the day in the enclosure. He has even tried his paws at enrichment devices.

Le Le was born on Aug 14, 2021 to Singapore’s beloved panda pair, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. He weighed an estimated 200g at the time.

Now weighing a whopping 15.86kg, Le Le’s first day at the exhibit was marked by the unveiling of his information board.

“Le Le has come a long way in his development since last August,” said Mandai Wildlife Group CEO, Mike Barclay. “His birth has stirred hearts far and wide, and we would not have got to this point without the generous and strong support provided by our partners and the public.”

Le Le’s name was picked through an online poll held in November – the word “Le” comes from “Shi Le Po”, which is an ancient Chinese name for Singapore and is also a transliteration of the Malay term “selat” – or straits – indicative of Singapore’s geographical location.

Also present at the unveiling of Le Le’s information board at the Giant Panda Forest were Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Hong Xiaoyong, as well as Mandai Park Holdings deputy chairperson Tan Chuan-Jin and Mandai Park Holdings chairperson Suppiah Dhanabalan.

Source: CNA/sr